Alright kids, let's talk about the elephant in the room: polygamy. If there's one thing Mormons love it's having to explain how we don't practice polygamy anymore. Oh wait, we don't like that.
See, it's been more than a hundred years since we gave up the practice. Some Mormons who wanted to keep on with the plural wiving decided that they'd rather leave the church than stay in it; they went off and lived by themselves, free to wear long, unflattering dresses and 1940s hair.
Did you catch that, Buster? Mormons aren't polygamists, and the people that are polygamists aren't Mormons.
100 years man, it's enough time to let it go. Most Mormons are too nice to tell you that the jokes are too tired to be funny; we'll give you a chuckle and the whole eye-brow raising that means "good one, man" without giving you the full-on LOL (which you will never get, so stop trying.)
Secretly, it's exhausting having to explain that our dads only have one wife. No really. Seriously. I would know. PROMISE. No matter where a Mormon travels, say, just to pick an example, the gas station two blocks down from Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida, they're just waiting for The Question.
"How many wives does your husband have."
"How many wives does your dad have?"
"Just my mom."
"No, he doesn't."
"Yes, he does."
"No, he doesn't." You get the picture. I don't know if there's a sillier time than having to explain to the cashier while she's checking your license that you do know the marital status of the people in your family, and it's all one-to-one. It's even more awesome when they don't believe you. Lady, I'd know.
Not only do we have to defend ourselves from the ridicule of the remainder of Christianity, but a big secret is that WE have a ton of mixed feelings about polygamy. I've seen girlfriends of mine start flashing their eyes, smoke coming out of ears, fists clenching when the topic arises. I've seen dudes take a big gulp at the terrifying thought. We're not all waiting for the day when we can be polygamists again, swear. Just ask your Mormon friend (as soon as you get one.)
For those of us who do have great-great-grandpas and grandmas who were polygamists way back, we have some awesome stories to tell: Mexican weddings, first wife drama, multiple households, the Edmunds-Tucker Act, we've got some doozies. If you know a Mormon from the Western U.S., chances are they've seen a polygamist in their natural habitat (on their way to the Wal-Mart.) That's why you want a Mormon friend: we can give you the straight dope on polygamy, tell you about the time we saw a polygamist, and share with you our feelings about that whole...thing, and we'll talk about it honestly because we don't practice it anymore.
**Now with classic polygamy game in comments!
As for the Big Love thing, most Mormons don't watch the show. First of all it's on HBO, which you have to pay more for, and Mormons hate paying more for anything, especially TV. Second, it's a little too close to home, right? A significant portion of our interactions with non-Mormons are convincing them that REALLY MY DAD HAS ONE WIFE, and that show isn't helping. Yes, the show tries to clarify that the characters aren't actually Mormons, but there are enough people out there that don't understand those stipulations and are a whole heap-a-mess of confused. We won't talk about the other Big Love issues because that makes us stabby (in a nice way.)